The International Olympic Committee has agreed to include skateboarding as one of its events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This development is an indication that skateboarding is no longer viewed as a public nuisance, but an accepted sport that redefines the urban landscape. With this in mind, major U.S. cities need to look at skaters as athletes and invest in skateparks, whether it’s indoors with wooden ramps or an outdoor area with asphalt sealing.
Salt Lake City recently opened its new Olympic-level skatepark which hosted the Vans Park Series World Championships in September. Skateboard legend Tony Hawk has mentioned before that SLC has always had a strong skate scene. Apart from Utah, there are other great skateparks scattered all over the country where skaters get together to train and hang out. Whether you’re a skater or not, you will appreciate the vibe and energy you will get from these spots:
North Houston Skatepark
- Spring, TX
The saying “Everything is bigger in Texas.” is no joke. The North Houston Skatepark is America’s largest free skatepark at 78,000 square feet. It features backyard style pools, a 12-foot vertical ramp, a 10-foot bowl, and a Texas-shaped competition — scale bowl.
Lincoln City Skatepark
- Lincoln City, OR
- Partially-covered outdoor
Thrasher Magazine has named it the gnarliest park in the country with its constantly evolving landscape. If you’re tired of the typical skatepark bowls and ramps, this is a must-visit for you.
- San Diego, CA
This park is specifically designed to be enjoyed not just by skaters but by spectators, too, giving them plenty of viewing areas where they can enjoy skaters rip it.
LES Coleman Skatepark
- New York, NY
- Partially-covered outdoor
LES Coleman Skatepark is known as one of the coolest and most intimidating parks in the whole world where you’ll find some of the bigger names in the world of skateboarding working on new tricks or just goofing around.
Venice Beach Skatepark
- Venice, CA
Amidst Venice’s usual gathering of muscleheads and bikini-clad babes is this skatepark where crowds can gather to just while away the time watching skaters perform amazing tricks. You might even catch a celebrity-sighting while you‘re there.
Jack Malmgren Skatepark
- Sedona, AZ
This skatepark boasts of a backdrop of breathtaking red, orange, and green canyons that give the park a surreal vibe. It’s hard to find a skatepark with a more beautiful background.
- Portland, OR
- Covered Outdoor
Countless pros consider this the quintessential skatepark for its historic value. You see it in magazines, movies, and Tony Hawk video games. This is the most popular DIY park that Portland skaters built for themselves in the 90s that eventually got recognized by its government as an official public park
- Orange, CA
- Indoor and outdoor
Perhaps the best spot in CA to see veteran pros like Jeff Groso and Christian Hosoi, American shoe manufacturer, Vans, decided to build its own premium skatepark after decades of producing skate shoes.
There are a lot more skateparks in the U.S. where skate-athletes can converge and train. Other cities should look at investing in skateparks with the vision of getting kids off harmful vices and redirecting their energy and enthusiasm to other productive means that can benefit not just themselves but the nation as well.